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by integrity, teamwork and continu- ous improvement. T is organizational approach to safety is why Modern Casting selected NIBCO as the 2013 Metalcaster of the Year. Since the late 1990s, the company has implemented a new approach to safety, including a program called Target Zero. All fi ve NIBCO metal plants won the American Foundry Society’s Safe Year awards for 2012. Its casting facilities in Stuarts Draft, Va., and Nacogdoches, Texas, won the 2012 AFS Millionaires Safety Award for two million and one million hours worked, respectively, without a lost time injury or illness. “T e biggest safety improvement

is awareness and ownership,” said Martin. “Management has changed the culture, helping associates understand that nothing they do at work, here at NIBCO, is worth getting hurt for, ever. And we’re continuously improving.” NIBCO’s safety vision promotes

a work environment free of injury, illness and accidents. T is is achieved by encouraging all associates to care about each other’s safety, health and well being; eliminating or controlling recognizable hazards; and making each worker a safety champion on

Cast billets are stored for later use in seamless copper tubing extrusion at the Stuarts Draft, Va., plant. Copper wire (background) is a base element for copper fi tting production.

and off the job. T e company’s eff orts serve as a model of excellence for the metalcasting industry.

Every Day Is a Safety Milestone Target Zero is an internal audit-

ing system NIBCO launched in early 2000 based on OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and the company’s in-house standards.

NIBCO tracks several safety metrics in all facilities, including the total recordable case incident rate (TCIR); days away, restricted or transferred (DART); days away from work (DAFW); days restricted or trans- ferred (DRWA); and workers compen- sation cost. Since 1998, the company’s fi ve-year average TCIR has dropped from fi ve to less than two. Since 2001,


The VPP has a more than 20-year history, and the average VPP worksite has a Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART) case rate that is 52% below the average for its industry. This is calculated annually by the Offi ce of Partnership and Recognition, based on injury and illness data submitted by VPP participants. The program recognizes employers and workers who have implemented effec- tive safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. Management, labor and OSHA work cooperatively and proac- tively to prevent fatalities, injuries and illnesses through a system focused on: •

• Worksite analysis • •

Hazard prevention and control Training

Management commitment and worker involvement.

To participate, employers must submit an application to OSHA and undergo a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals. Union support is required for applicants represented by a bargaining unit. OSHA approves qualified sites to one of three programs: Star recognition for exemplary achievement, Merit for good systems that must take additional steps to reach Star quality, and Demonstration, recognizing effective programs that differ from current VPP requirements.

VPP participants are exempt from OSHA programmed inspec- tions while they maintain their VPP status. They are reevalu- ated every three to fi ve years to determine whether they qualify to remain in the programs.

July 2013 MODERN CASTING | 19

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